Happy Mother’s Day to all of us who mother!
To be a mother is not simply to have given life to someone, it is infinitely more about long-term sacrificial love, nurturing, teaching, and guarding identity. Some of us do this as birth mothers. Some of us do this as step-mothers, adoptive mothers, aunts, teachers, counselors, grandmothers, and “fairy godmothers”. Some of us who do this are men who have taken up the role of single dad and act as both mother and father. Some of us mother dogs or cats.
Some of us have happy memories of our mothers, some of us do not. Some of us have been and are magnificent mamas, some of us have failed more than we succeeded. Some of us have lost a child before we ever saw their face, some of us have said goodbye to our baby before they were grown. Some of us are doing the long work every day of tending, teaching, and guarding. Some of us have lived to see our child off to college, come home from war, walk down the aisle, jump the broom, set up a home, have children of their own.
Mothering comes with many faces and all of it costs something. To be a mother is give up taking care of yourself first. It is to see what our child cannot say. It is to know what our child is trying to understand. It is to believe in the best of our child even when they are acting out the worst. It is to hold space for all that is good, true, and beautiful in our child through the long years of formation. All of us have been loved by someone like that – someone who sacrificed for us, offered guidance and comfort, and cheered us on – even for a season. To celebrate Mother’s Day is to celebrate all this love given in so many ways so that the young and defenseless could grow up loved and known, cheered and championed.
In a world desperate for this kind of love, God the Father loves us also with a mother’s love. “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you” – Isaiah 66.13
We celebrate Mother’s Day to celebrate this love in all the faces and hands through which it is given. Say thank you to those who have loved you this way. Forgive those who failed. Rejoice in all the love that takes up children and nurtures them into fullness. Remember that you are loved. This is worth celebrating all year!
Happy Mother’s Day!
The featured image is used with glad permission by Lancia E. Smith for The Cultivating Project.
Lancia E. Smith is an author, photographer, teacher, and business owner. A grateful lover of the Triune God, Lancia is the Founder & Executive Director of Cultivating & The Cultivating Project. She has served in executive management, church leadership, boards, and Art & Faith organizations over 30 years. She & her husband Peter have parented 7 children, & have a flock of beloved grandchildren. Lancia loves garden and website design, beautiful typography, road trips, being read aloud to by Peter, & cherishes every book she ever read by C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and George MacDonald.